“Everyone should learn to code” is an increasingly common thing to hear in 2016, and it’s becoming a sentiment I can really get behind after learning to code myself this year. I’m not an elite hacker or programming guru yet, but I’ve learned enough to actually create some projects are that worthwhile to not only myself, but to other people as well. Creating something that the rest of the world will find useful is profitable, but the ability to create things that are useful only to yourself is also a hugely helpful skill that comes in handy all the time.
As an example, you may know that I just launched a new website calledOnly the Good Stuff Today, and an important part of my workflow in creating content for that website is searching the App Store for apps, and pulling the price, name, and icon for those apps. Searching the App Store directly is good for getting links, but it fails at giving me any way to download that app’s icon or even showing me the price if I already own the app.
I needed a tool that let me search for an app name, see it’s official title, current price, and let me easily download its icon. There wasn’t a tool that did exactly this that I could find, so I made my own. It didn’t take too long to create (the App Store has a very easy to use API, it turns out), and I went from “I wish this existed” to “IT WORKS!” in less than an hour.
Below is a short screencast of the tool I created in action.
As you can see, the tool is very basic, and if I wanted to release this to the public, I’d have to add a lot of features and pretty it up a bit, but it does what I need it to right now and that’s what matters to me. It’s incredibly empowering, and I if you’re at all interested in creating the tools you wish were out there in the world, I’d highly recommend at least dabbling in a bit of code to see what you can create.